Suzanne lives in Texas and has been a full-time freelance writer for 20 years. She’s written for numerous business and financial publications, both online and in traditional print media. She also owns her own small business and has a passion to help others achieve their dreams of financial independence. Her goal is to eventually work from a remote island that is equipped with Wi-Fi.
If you frequently hear about what a nice voice you have, and even if you don't, you might want to look into doing voice-over work. This is a serious career for some people, and you could pursue having it be your career, but that will take considerable effort. Alternatively, at sites such as Fiverr.com, you can offer your services at a reasonable rate per hour, perhaps starting with a low rate until you've gotten some takers.
Become a freelancer in an area where you have expertise. If you have a skill that’s in demand, you can sell your services directly to clients who need them. Advertise your services on a personal website and look for freelancing jobs on sites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fivrr. Additionally, hand out business cards and encourage happy clients to tell others about your work. Here are some ways you can earn money as a freelancer:
It’s industry standard to charge anywhere from $1,000-$2,000 per month per client, and you don’t need previous website or marketing experience to get started. As you bring on more clients and build a reputation in your community for delivering outstanding results, your income can scale up quickly. It only takes a handful of clients to start building a full-time income.
Better yet, you can even upload your own book to one of the world’s largest book sellers: Amazon. With Amazon self-publishing, you set the price, retain the rights to your book, and get access to Amazon’s massive audience. For every sale, you keep 70% with Amazon taking the remainder as a fee. If you want to get started, check out Tara Gentile on CreativeLive as she shows you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week. Who knows, you might just write one of the best business books of this year!
Take good pictures. Some of the options below don’t require you to actually take the picture and sell the product, but for the ones that do, make sure you take a clear picture that makes your product stand out from the others. If you’re going to be taking a lot of pictures, set up a small “studio-like” area in your home with a backdrop and proper lighting to really make your pictures come across as professional. And of course, you’ll want a good camera too.
You don't have to be a professional photographer to sell your photos for money. People are constantly in need of high-quality, unique stock photography for websites, presentations, brochures, and so on, and are willing to pay for the right image. People generally search for images on stock photography sites like ShutterStock, Dreamstime, and iStockphoto by keywords, not by photographer name, so you have the same chance as anyone else of having your image selected. Just be careful not to post images of trademarked brands, copyrighted art, or people's faces that are readily identifiable unless you have a model release. Virtually anything else is fair game.
If you’ve got some free time and don’t live in the middle of nowhere, becoming a Lyft driver can be a very lucrative side hustle. And right now, they’ve got a promotion going on where any new driver can earn up to a $1,000 bonus after completing their 125th ride. If you start now and hustle hard on the weekends, you can probably unlock that bonus within a few weeks of driving (the bonus is cleared on top of your normal earnings).
If you’ve got a way with words and expertise in a niche, there are plenty of sites that will pay for articles and content you write. Think of the sites you read regularly. What can you contribute to them that would be interesting? Research your niche and then look for ways to pitch articles. Many sites will simply have a submission or contact link in the footer. To get started, check out my full guide to becoming a freelance writer on the side and then submit your articles to places like Listverse, A List Apart, International Living, FundsforWriters, and Textbroker.
Sign up with ride-sharing sites like Uber and Lyft and make hundreds of dollars per week, driving folks around on your schedule. You'll need a reliable vehicle (each company has vehicle specifications you must accommodate, be at least 21-years-old, have a driver's license, and pass a background test.) It's not uncommon for drivers to make more than $500 per week on ride-sharing drives. If you're comfortable behind the wheel, this gig could be for you.
Food. The second word in “Bed and Breakfast” is just as important as the first. Some B&Bs have tried to serve their guests muffins, juice, and coffee in the mornings, but the most successful hosts understand that the breakfast they serve will make a lasting impression on their guests. You can get creative and serve the type of breakfast traditional for the area that you’re in. For instance, if your home is located in the South, then eggs, grits, and biscuits may go over well, while Southwest guests may appreciate a traditional Tex-Mex meal. Whatever you decide, make it memorable and make sure that your guests feel welcome and appreciated. Make it memorable, and they’ll spread the word for you.
Being a Loan Signing Agent is a great side hustle because you can make $75 to $200 per hour-long appointment working for yourself on your own schedule. Retired people, working professionals, and students can be signing agents and earn extra cash when they want. The best part is you need nothing more than a notary commission (which can often be attained by simply filling out an application)!
Billshark: This service specializes in negotiating common monthly bills. While they don’t claim to be perfect, Billshark says that they have an 85% success rate negotiating bills for cable and satellite TV, cell phones, internet, satellite radio, and home security. Pricing is simple: whatever they are able to save you via negotiation, they take a 40% cut. If they can’t lower your bills, you don’t pay them. Billshark Review
The audiobook industry is booming, yet only 5% of books ever get made into audio format. If you’ve got a background in acting, or if people have said you’ve got a voice made for the radio, you can make extra money recording audio versions of independent and popular books. Sites like ACX connect authors with audiobook performers. So, whether you’re an author looking for more ways to sell your book, or an actor/voice actor looking to make some extra income, you can sell your services online.
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Double check yourself, before you double wreck yourself. Make sure everything you send to a company, whether a résumé, an email or a portfolio, is good to go. Double check your grammar and wording, and for God’s sake use spell check! This is especially important when it comes to the company’s name. Don’t spell their name wrong and be sure to type it how they type it (e.g. Problogger, not Pro Blogger).
While it often takes a significant amount of time and hard work to build up your affiliate income, if you have the ability to regularly publish high quality content that drives in targeted traffic to your website, this online revenue source can become quite substantial. Follow along with my experiment growing a new blog, called SmartWP about WordPress, into an additional revenue stream for my business.
During my high school days, I was a pretty decent golfer (about a 2-3 handicap, for you other golfers out there). I was asked by my local club professional if I would help him teach his junior golf clinics that summer. If you have specialized skill in any sport, there are definitely opportunities out there for teaching others the fundamentals (and getting paid).
Next, you need to set up and build your YouTube channel. Your YouTube channel is your home base for all your content. If you already have a Google account for Gmail or Google Drive, then you can use that to log-in to YouTube and start setting up your channel. Pick a username that works for you and is memorable (if you’re using an existing Google account you’ll have to edit your username in Google+).
If you've developed valuable skill sets or picked up certifications within your industry over the years, offering your consulting services to local business owners can be a lucrative way to make money online. Whether you're an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there's likely a local business owner who's willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company. Start with my guide to launching a freelance (consulting) business and then use my breakdown of crafting an effective cold email to convince local small business owners to hire you.
The best part is that people who use bed and breakfasts are more likely to pay more for the experience. The challenge is that there’s a lot of competition in this field, so if you think earning money this way is right for you, you’ll have to set up your home in a way that makes for a memorable experience for guests. Here’s a checklist to get you started:
Websites like Care.com connect parents with babysitters. The company does all the background checking and other due diligence to put parents' minds at ease. Of course, you can appeal directly to people in your personal network, but if you're looking to generate recurring revenue sign up with a site marketing to parents looking for child care services.